Gold ETF Flows: February 2023

Gold ETF outflows continued in February amid weak gold prices



  • Global physically backed gold ETFs lost US$1.7bn (-34t, -1.0%) in February
  • Funds listed in North America (-US$547mn, -10t), Europe (-US$1.2bn, -25t) and Asia (-US$4mn, -0.1t) all saw outflows while the Other region registered an inflow of US$83mn (+1t, +2.0%)
  • UK and US funds led outflows: Invesco Physical Gold ETC and iShares Gold Trust saw outflows of US$474mn and US$418mn respectively.

February highlights

Global physically backed gold ETFs1 witnessed another month of outflows, losing US$1.7bn in February. A stronger dollar and rising yields led to a 5% decline in the gold price,2 which may have discouraged gold ETF investors. Outflows were widespread, with the exception of funds in the Other region,3 where collective holdings rose marginally.

Overall, collective gold ETF assets under management (AUM) declined by 1% to US$200bn. Meanwhile, global gold ETF holdings saw the tenth consecutive month of tonnage decline, falling by 34t (-1.0%) in February to 3,412t, the longest losing streak since January 2014.4 During the first two months of 2023, global gold ETFs lost US$3.4bn (-61t, -1.8%).

European funds continued to drive global outflows as the region’s central banks kept delivering outsized rate hikes.5 After losing US$1.2bn (-25t, -1.7%) in February, European funds recorded their tenth consecutive monthly outflow, although at a slower pace than January (US$2.1bn). UK funds (-US$740mn, -13t) once again made up the bulk of the region’s outflows.

North American gold ETFs lost US$547mn (-10t, -0.6%), their first monthly outflow in 2023 after two consecutive months of inflows. As US inflation pressure has unexpectedly intensified, investors are now anticipating higher interest rates for longer.6 Coupled with the gold price fall, local appetite for gold waned.

Funds listed in Asia saw mild outflows of US$4mn (-0.1t, -0.1%) during the month. Japan inflows (+US$17mn, +0.3t) were outweighed by outflows from funds listed in China (-US$45mn, -0.7t). Funds in the Other region witnessed another inflow of US$83mn (+1t, +2%) in February, mainly helped by Turkey (+US$82mn, +1t).

Trading remained active despite a weaker gold price

Daily trading volumes across all gold markets averaged US$147bn during February, a 8% fall from the previous month (US$159bn). Nonetheless, the average volume remains 13% above 2022 (US$132bn). Physical gold markets remained active: daily average trading volumes of the OTC gold market rose by 3% m-o-m. And trading activities of global gold ETFs held steady. But there was a 23% m-o-m decline in exchange-traded gold derivatives’ average trading activities: a decline in COMEX volumes outpaced rises on other exchanges.

Please note that due to delays in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s data release schedule, the analysis of net longs in COMEX gold futures is not available in this report. For more, see: Commitments of Traders | CFTC.


Gold ETF flows

Data as of

Demand captures changes in global/regional gold holdings; fund flows capture the net amount of money (in USD) that comes in or out of gold ETFs globally/regionally. See methodology note.

Regional flows

  • North American funds saw outflows (negative demand) of US$547mn (-10t, -0.6%)
  • European gold ETFs witnessed another outflow (negative demand) of US$1.2bn (-25t, -1.7%)
  • Asian funds experienced an outflow of US$4mn (-0.1t, -0.1%)
  • The Other region funds saw inflows of US$83mn (+1t, +2.0%).

Individual flows

  • In North America, while SPDR® Gold MiniShares Trust attracted US$74mn (+1t, +1.3%), iShares Gold Trust saw the second largest global fund-level outflow of US$418mn (-7t, -1.6%)
  • In Europe, UK and Germany funds accounted for the bulk of outflows: Invesco Physical Gold ETC led global outflows by losing US$474mn (-8t, -3.3%), Xtrackers IE Physical Gold ETC witnessed an outflow of US$105mn (-2t, -3.2%).
  • In Asia, Huaan Yifu Gold ETF (-US$40mn, -1t) witnessed the largest outflow in the region.
  • Turkish funds continued to drive inflows into the Other region: the Istanbul Gold Exchange Traded Fund saw inflows of US$82mn (+1t, +51%).

Long-term trends

  • February marked the tenth consecutive month of negative tonnage demand for global gold ETFs, the longest losing streak since January 2014
  • Y-t-d tonnage demand turned negative in almost all regions except for funds listed in the Other region
  • Low-cost funds continued to record negative tonnage demand, for their eighth consecutive month.7


  1. We define gold ETFs as regulated securities that hold gold in physical form. These include open-ended funds traded on regulated exchanges and other regulated products such as close-end funds and mutual funds. A complete list is included on the gold ETF section of

  2. Based on the LBMA Gold Price PM in US dollars.

  3. The Other regions include Australia, South Africa, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  4. We track gold ETF assets in two ways: the quantity of gold they hold, generally measured in tonnes; and the equivalent value of those holdings in US dollars (AUM). We also monitor how these fund assets change through time by looking at two key metrics: demand and fund flows.

    • Gold ETF demand is the change in gold holdings during a given period. We use this metric to calculate the quarterly demand estimates reported in Gold Demand Trends.
    • Fund flows represent the amount of money – reported in US dollars – that investors have put into (or retrieved from) a fund during a given period.

    For more details, see our ETF methodology note.

  5. Low-cost gold-backed ETFs are defined by the World Gold Council as exchange-traded open-ended funds listed in the US and Europe, backed by physical gold, with annual management fees and other expenses like FX costs of 20bps or less.